Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Geologic Time Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Geologic Time. It supports the standard of constructing a scientific explanation for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth’s history. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What do you think scientists might learn from fossils?
  • What other ways might scientists learn about Earth’s history?


  • Read the description on the Geologic Time topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Students take the Geologic Time Quiz, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about geologic time while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a tutorial that explains how the relative lengths of geologic time periods are determined.
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map comparing and contrasting the geologic time scale with the units of time we use in our daily lives.
  • Creative Coding: Code a digital museum exhibit featuring artifacts to represent how scientists learn about and organize Earth’s history.

More to Explore 

Sortify: Dinosaurs: ​​Players sort by attributes, such as geologic time periods or animal traits in this categorizing game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of geologic time with these topics: Relative Dating, Earth’s Structure, Fossils, and Dinosaurs.

Teacher Support Resources: